Professional Picture Framers Assoc January 2011 : Page 1

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 Vol. 16 No. 1 ,QVLGHWKLVLVVXH  Ninety-five years young – Owners of The Studio Shop in Burlingame, Calif., celebrate a huge milestone.  Framers’ Corner Nuggets – Framing a heavy watercolor collage, acrylic puzzle, tintype, and felt sports pennant; getting rid of bugs; handling a photograph that is stuck on glass; and protecting a quilt made of silk ties. 
 Focus on framing – Robin Gentry faces the challenge of framing an old, painted rooster feather with a bug infestation.  Shopping for health insuran ce – Mike Moran from Meadowbrook Insurance Group outlines the top five mistakes to avoid.  Four tips for successful direct mail – Kurt Johnson of PostcardBuilder provides strategies for attracting customers. 1LQHW\
ILYH \HDUV\RXQJ Owners of The Studio Shop in California celebrate a huge milestone ot many frame shops can boast of being in business for almost a century. But The Studio Shop, a family owned frame shop and the oldest retail business in Burlingame, Calif., celebrated its 95th birthday last October with a huge celebration. The event included a juried exhibition, “Time and Place,” in which artists were asked what it means to be in a place for 95 years and whether place has meaning in today’s world of the internet and social networking. The frame shop was founded in 1915 by Dorothy Crawford, a portrait photographer who operated a photo studio, and her husband, Ralph, who bought a picture frame business in 1914. They combined their businesses to form Crawford’s Studio Shop in 1915. After Ralph’s death, Dorothy continued with the business until turning it over to her niece, Carolyn Misselwitz, in 1944. John Benson and his wife, Martha, bought the frame shop in 1955 – the year Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif.; Sugar Ray Robinson won the world boxing championship; Albert Einstein died; Martin Luther King Jr. led a bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala.; and the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees 4-3 in the World Series. John Benson attended the very first PPFA meeting in the nation, an inaugural meeting held in the mid-1960s at the Hyatt House Hotel in Burlingame, with Bill Korn of Victor Moulding and Paul The Studio Shop, a family owned frame shop and the oldest retail business in Burlingame, Calif., celebrated its 95th birthday last October. The frame shop was founded in 1915 by Dorothy and Ralph Crawford. John Benson (left) and his wife Martha (right) bought the frame shop in 1955 – his daughter Janet Martin and her husband Carl took over in 1994. 'HSDUWPHQWV  Chapter News – Arizona, Greater Los Angeles, Indiana, North Texas, and Sunshine State. 1 &#1b; Board Banter – Jeannette King shows how technology can help you “do more with less.” Industry News &#1c; Welcome, new CPFs! Calendar of Events CPF Exam Schedule  Framer’s Gallery  )RU0HPEHUV2QO\

Ninety-Five Years Young

Owners of The Studio Shop in California celebrate a huge milestone<br /> <br /> Not many frame shops can boast of being in business for almost a century.<br /> <br /> But The Studio Shop, a family owned frame shop and the oldest retail business in Burlington, Calif., celebrated its 95th birthday last October with a huge celebration.<br /> <br /> The event included a juried exhibition, “Time and Place,” in which artists were asked what it means to be in a place for 95 years and whether place has meaning in today’s world of the internet and social networking.<br /> <br /> The frame shop was founded in 1915 by Dorothy Crawford, a portrait photographer who operated a photo studio, and her husband, Ralph, who bought a picture frame business in 1914.<br /> <br /> They combined their businesses to form Crawford’s Studio Shop in 1915.<br /> <br /> After Ralph’s death, Dorothy continued with the business until turning it over to her niece, Carolyn Misselwitz, in 1944.<br /> <br /> John Benson and his wife, Martha, bought the frame shop in 1955 – the year Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif.; Sugar Ray Robinson won the world boxing championship; Albert Einstein died; Martin Luther King Jr. Led a bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala.; and the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees 4-3 in the World Series.<br /> <br /> John Benson attended the very first PPFA meeting in the nation, an inaugural meeting held in the mid-1960s at the Hyatt House Hotel in Burlingame, with Bill Korn of Victor Moulding and Paul Frederick. After the meeting, John took some of the attendees to visit The Studio Shop, located then at 311 Primrose Road in Burlingame.<br /> <br /> John and Martha were at the first PPFA convention held in Southern California, and remember other PPFA meetings held in Marin, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe.<br /> <br /> Benson’s daughter, Janet, worked at The Studio Shop as a teenager. She and her husband Carl Martin, who celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last year, started helping Janet’s parents in 1988, moving back to Burlingame from Monterey, where Carl was a painting contractor.<br /> <br /> Janet took over the shop in 1994 when her parents retired. She attended PPFA meetings with her infant son, Patrick. The birth of a second son and busy activities at home and work caused her to spend less time with PPFA meetings, and, later, the chapter folded. Now, the nearest chapter is in Sacramento – a 2-hour drive.<br /> .<br /> Despite being touched by the recession, the shop thrives, attracting third-generation customers, and is nicely situated in the suburbs between high-tech Silicon Valley and bio-tech San Francisco.<br /> .<br /> While the bulk of the business is picture framing, The Studio Shop is also evolving as a small art gallery, managed by Janet’s Sister, Kristen Benson. The gallery features original art, paintings, and sculpture by established and emerging artists from Northern California and around the world.<br /> <br /> The Martins expanded the gallery space and opened The Studio Shop Annex in San Mateo in 2007, with an eclectic mix of picture framing; art by emerging artists; and unique home décor, books, and home design items.<br /> <br /> The store also frames mirrors, flat-screen Tvs, and oversized art. Services include in-home consulting; art restoration; pickup, delivery, and installation; and corporate and trade accounts.<br /> <br /> The Martins’ goal is to make art interesting and accessible to their clients.<br /> <br /> The shop offers one of the best selections of frames in the Bay Area, including welded steel frames, 22-karat gold museum frames, and hand-carved leather frames from Peru, says Janet Martin, who specializes in frame design and business development.<br /> <br /> “Janet loves getting to do a great design when a client allows her, with budget and creativity, to make a piece that is much more than the sum of its parts,” her husband says. “Also, she enjoys the satisfaction of framing a difficult piece, such as a silk scarf, for example; it seems the only people that understand the challenge are other framers.”<br /> <br /> One of the most unusual items they have framed is an airplane seat armrest from a crashed airplane.<br /> <br /> “The client had a Ticket for the flight but was not able to make it, and the plane subsequently crashed,” Carl says.<br /> <br /> “He got a hold of the armrest with the seat number matching his ticket, and we framed the items together with a plaque that said, ‘My Lucky Day.’<br /> <br /> “Jewelry and objects are also challenging – we’ve done several necklaces that were stitched down to hold a natural, curved appearance.”<br /> <br /> Carl jokes he majored in geology and wound up running a frame shop.<br /> <br /> “I started out chopping and joining frames in 1997 after years as a paint contractor. Now, I don’t do any framing except for special projects such as framing flatscreen Tvs and installations. Mainly, I see that the bills are paid and the computers are running and take care of marketing, health insurance, taxes, etc. There’s a lot of paperwork.”<br /> <br /> He enjoys doing large installations, including vintage European posters.<br /> <br /> “They’re beautiful works of art, and to put a thick, 6-inch frame on one is just stunning. They are also a challenge to move and install; but once placed on the wall, they look great, and it is very satisfying.” Large installations have included a 7-by-7- Foot painting by American painter and printmaker Frank Stella and several 8-by-8- foot quilts.<br /> <br /> “We have to rent a truck to move those and make sure the clients have big enough doors to get these into their homes,” Carl says. <br /> <br /> One of his most challenging installs was A 6-foot mirror in a stairwell. “It seemed like it weighed 200 pounds,” he says. “It took five people with ladders to guide and lift. There’s a huge sigh of relief when that’s done.”<br /> <br /> The Martins have seen many changes over the years, especially in technology.<br /> <br /> “When I started at The Studio Shop in 1997, we were doing everything by hand, Jyden chopper, and nailing frames by hand.<br /> <br /> Mats were cut on a Fletcher mat cutter, and we did have a wall cutter for glass,” Carl says. “In the old days, John cut mats with a straight edge and razor knife; glass also was cut with a straight edge.<br /> <br /> “After ’97, I added computers and FullCalc. We were doing everything in a 1,200-square-foot retail space with a staff of four. Then, we added a warehouse space for production, so we got a double miter saw and a pneumatic underpinner. Those tools save a lot of time. Later, we added a computerized mat cutter (CMC), another great tool, especially for multi-opening mats and 8-ply.”<br /> <br /> Design trends also have undergone a sea change.<br /> <br /> “In the ’50s and ’60s, moulding was like the neckties – skinny,” Carl says. “John Sold a lot of 1/2-inch and even 1/4-inch mouldings. We still had some of that in stock when I came in – in 1997.<br /> <br /> “Mouldings have gotten wider, and there are fabulous designs you could never cut on a foot chopper. Eight-ply mats have become really popular, too.”<br /> <br /> Although the Martins use email for much of their marketing and thought email Would replace snail mail, postcards, and newsletters, they find people still respond to a physical piece of paper in their hands.<br /> <br /> “We still do two mailed newsletters per year. People keep them on their counters and read them bit by bit,” Carl says.<br /> <br /> “We send email one to two times a month; we try to keep it simple because people don’t spend a lot of time reading Emails – one paragraph about art and one paragraph about framing with links back to our website.<br /> <br /> “We’re also an art gallery, and managing the website is a huge part of our work – photographing new work and posting it on the site. But the fundamental marketing is networking in the community. And in this economy, more than before, relationships and trust are paramount.”<br /> <br /> The Martins give back to the Burlingame community by providing direct aid, goods, and services, as well as implementing an employee matching program to support fund-raising efforts for local schools, arts groups, and other local nonprofit organizations.<br /> <br /> The Martins don’t see their children carrying the torch to become a third generation of framers.<br /> <br /> “They’re in college studying engineering and construction management,” Carl says. “I think if the kids ever were to come into the business, it’s important they first work for some other companies to learn how other industries operate.”

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